Hollywood tough Tom Sizemore, who won acclaim for «Saving Private Ryan» before his career skyrocketed amid allegations of drug abuse and domestic violence, died Friday, his manager said.
He was 61 years old.
Sizemore died in his sleep at St. Joseph’s Hospital Burbank, his manager Charles Lago said in a statement Friday.
Sizemore’s brother, Paul, and Sizemore’s 17-year-old twin sons, Jayden and Jagger, were by his side, Lago said. Paul Sizemore called his older brother «larger than life.»
«He has influenced my life more than anyone I know. He was talented, loving, generous and could keep you endlessly entertained with his wit and storytelling ability,» Paul Sizemore said in a statement. «I am devastated that he is gone and I will miss him forever»
Sizemore collapsed at his home in Los Angeles after a brain aneurysm on February 18, and doctors were never able to revive him.
The veteran actor is best known for playing Sgt. Mike Horvath in «Saving Private Ryan,» which premiered in 1998 and won five Academy Awards. the movie brought Steven Spielberg Best Director Award.
Sizemore and his on-screen colleagues «Ryan» were nominated for outstanding performance by a cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
He was also in «Black Hawk Down», «Strange Days», «Heat» and other movies.
In recent years, Sizemore’s headlines were often related to drug abuse and allegations of domestic abuse.
In a 2005 interview with «Dateline» correspondent Keith Morrison, Sizemore said there was a direct correlation between leading a sober life and his once-heavy career.
When asked when his longest period of sobriety was, he said: «Do any drugs? ’95 to 2001. It’s not a coincidence that those are the most prolific years, and my career was building.»
“My poor judgement, drug abuse. I take full responsibility,» Sizemore said.
«I wish I hadn’t. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. It’s that simple. I don’t want to die. Already, my mother hasn’t slept for three years.»
The low points of his public life came during a year-long criminal case in Los Angeles County when he was accused of beating his girlfriend at the time, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.
He was convicted in 2003 of beating and threatening Fleiss and sentenced to six months in jail. Sizemore in 2005 insisted that he did not hit her.
Even after Fleiss’s conviction, he had had ongoing drug-related run-ins with the law.
A judge jailed Sizemore in 2005 for violating probation after he allegedly failed drug tests and even tried to use a fake penis to falsely passing clean urine.
He was arrested outside a BakersfieldCalifornia, hotel in 2007 for possession of methamphetamine.
All those brushes with the law took their toll on Sizemore’s family, particularly his mother and father, the actor said in 2005.
Thomas Edward Sizemore Jr. was born on November 29, 1961 in Detroit, the son of Judith Sizemore, a public official, and Thomas Sizemore Sr., an attorney.
The study theater at Wayne State University before landing one of his first Hollywood big screen credits in the critically acclaimed 1989 Vietnam War film «Born on the Fourth of July,» which was directed by Oliver Stone.
Sizemore teamed up with Stone five years later on «Natural Born Killers.»
The Hollywood success opened the door to an endless stream of alcohol and drugs, which Sizemore said he abused despite the best efforts of his friends, including fellow actor Robert DeNiro and director Michael Mann, to keep him sober.
From the red carpet of «Saving Private Ryan,» Sizemore would finish with another screen credit to far less acclaim, VH1 reality show «Celebrity Rehab».
“I am very, very sorry to those people I deceived, which is a euphemism for ‘lying.’ Robert De Niro and Michael Mann in particular, (for) taking a lot of interest in me as a man and as an artist and as a person with a disease and I went to rehab multiple times,» he told The Associated Press in 2013.
“I am very, very sorry to the people I have hurt, especially my father.”
Quinlan in Friday’s statement said her heart went out to Tom Sizemore and his family.
«Most especially, my thoughts and prayers are with Tom’s two sons, Jayden and Jagger. May God hold them both in the palm of his hand, give them strength and bless them all the days of their lives,» he said. .
A private cremation service will be held and a larger celebration of life event is planned in a few weeks, Lago said.
«The Sizemore family has been comforted by the hundreds of messages of support and love shown to their son, brother and father,» said Lago, who called Sizemore a personal friend and mentor.